on November 19, 2005
I took my undergrad fluid mechanics course using Crowe's lightweight doorstop. I took the course from Dr. Crowe himself. He certainly knows his fluid mechanics but if you go by his course and this book then he does not seem the least bit interested in handing down his knowledge to his students. At the time, about 2 years ago I gave this a 3/5 rating based upon my own naive assumption that I had a solid undergraduate background in fluid mechanics thanks to diligently studying and reading everything in this text. But it really took a graduate level fluids course to make me realize the serious deficiencies in this textbook. Save your hard earned money this book deserves zero stars and here's why:
The major drawbacks of the text are
1. No development of the differential forms of the govering equations. Conservation of mass, momentum and energy are all developed using the integral approach (via Reynolds Transport Theorem). He mentions the Navier-Stokes Equations in barely 2 pages and there is no further discussion about it. You could tear those pages out and you wouldn't lose continuity in the book (pun intended). No theoretical development thereafter requires the Navier-Stokes Equations. No surprise that solutions to the Navier Stokes equations are not included except for Couette and Poiseuille flows which are developed without the classical methods of simplifying the NS equations.
2. Lack of substantial mathematical sophistication. Fluid mechanics is best described with vector calculus and differtial equation. Surely there are many problems that are solvable with algebraic methods but Crowe essentially avoids anything mathematical. Therefore problem sets are suitably simplified so as to be amenable by the simplest mathematics. This is partly a consequence of doing away with the differential approach.
3. No mention of stream functions or potential flows!
4. This book misleads the novice into thinking that the panacea of all fluid mechanics problems is Bernoulli's equation. That is all you will really need to solve the problems in this text (apart from looking at the many tables, charts and graphs to find friction factors, drag coefficients, head loss factors and what have you). The unsteady form of Bernoulli's equation is left out; a consequence of omitting potential flows. The reader isn't told that Bernoulli's equation is a simplification of Euler's equations (only shown in streamwise co-ordinates) which are themselves a simplification of the Navier stokes equations.
5. There is very little development of fluid kinematics. No mention of the Langrangian derivative (and if there was it was again perfunctory and disposed off never to be recalled again). Vorticity is mentioned in passing and a few problems assigned which ammount to doing a bunch of cross products! The interplay between fluid rotationality (or irrotationality), viscosity (or lack of viscosity) and incompressibility and how they lead to the special (read: simpler) forms of the governing equations (namely Euler's and Bernoulli's equation) is omitted. Fluid element deformations and stress-strain arguments are left out in the cold (no need for them if you are washing your hands off of the differential approach).
5. Boundary layer theory is developed without stressing the classical length scale arguments that go into them, turbulence is restricted to using empirical correlations.
All these deficiencies in concept and mathematics were corrected only after I took a graduate level fluid mechanics course which essentially amounted me having to relearn everything considered "prerequisite" in addition to keeping up with the new material. Thoroughly deserves 0 stars. Don't take my word for it, use the book preview at Amazon.com and check out the table of contents. I suggest comparing this with the highly recommended undergraduate texts by Fox & Macdonald, or Munson, Young and Okiishi, or Frank White's excellent undergraduate text.
on February 22, 2013
This book (8th Edition) is full of errors and typos. It wasn't terrible as a class text when the prof could put it in context, and the explanations and illustrations are fine, but using it now as a reference is difficult at best. Many of the examples have numerical errors. Lots of misprints where greek letters become roman letters and vice versa in the course of deriving equations. Unacceptable for a mechanics textbook.